Friday, September 29, 2023

Glad This Thing Isn't in My Backyard


TITLE: The Ghost Tree
AUTHOR: Christina Henry
PUBLISHING DATE: September 8, 2020
PAGES: 426   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: When people go missing in the sleepy town of Smith’s Hollow, the only clue to their fate comes when a teenager starts having terrifying visions, in a chilling horror novel from national bestselling author Christina Henry. 
When the bodies of two girls are found torn apart in the town of Smiths Hollow, Lauren is surprised, but she also expects that the police won't find the killer. After all, the year before her father's body was found with his heart missing, and since then everyone has moved on. Even her best friend, Miranda, has become more interested in boys than in spending time at the old ghost tree, the way they used to when they were kids. 
So when Lauren has a vision of a monster dragging the remains of the girls through the woods, she knows she can't just do nothing. Not like the rest of her town. But as she draws closer to answers, she realizes that the foundation of her seemingly normal town might be rotten at the center. And that if nobody else stands for the missing, she will.

MY THOUGHTS: I have been meaning to read this book since it first came up, so I was thrilled to see it was the pick for an on-line horror book club I participate in on Facebook.  I won't lie, I was a bit worried as Henry is a hit-or-miss author for me, but I am proud to report The Ghost Tree was a hit.

Lauren lives with her mother and little brother following the death of her father the previous year. She is extremely resentful of her mother, who seems glad that her husband is gone, and they two get along as well as oil and water.  Lauren is struggling with her early teen years and trying to figure out if the relationship with her best friend is going to last - or if she even wants it to.  She has always found comfort in the woods, despite them being the scene of her father's demise, but when she starts getting visions depicting the murders of two girls who were just found brutally mutilated, and when her brother, who is only four, seems to know things that are about to happen, Lauren doesn't know who to turn to.  What exactly is going on in her town, what does it have to do with her and the death of her father, and can it be stopped before she loses more people she cares about?

I liked Lauren and enjoyed pretty much every aspect of the tale.  There is a pretty stereotypical racist old lady who hates anyone that doesn't look like her who is somewhat annoying, but she is supposed to be so Henry hit her mark.  I was able to figure out the "bad guy" pretty early on, but it didn't negate any positive experience of reading the book.  And finally, it was nice to see there were a few underlying issues fueling the animosity between Lauren and her mother and it was nice to see some of them resolved by the end.

The Ghost Tree is a great read for the spooky season, and I am glad I was able to knock it off of my backlist of books. I believe this is categorized as a YA book, but it read more like an adult book with YA characters so if that is holding anyone off from picking it up, it really shouldn't.  Glad I can add another Henry "hit" to my "books I've read" list.  



Thursday, September 28, 2023

Do You Love Creature Features???


 So earlier this week, Amazon released six short stories by notable horror authors which they have dubbed "Creature Features."  There are free if you have Kindle Unlimited and I think even if you just have a Prime membership.  You can also buy them for $0.99 each.  I am trying to read one a night to gear up for spooky season so below you will find reviews on the first two I read.  Because they are short stories, don't expect a lot because I don't want to spoil them for you!

TITLE: The Pram)
AUTHOR: Joe Hill
PUBLISHER: Amazon Original Stories
PUBLISHING DATE: September 26, 2023
PAGES: 58   
SOURCE: Kindle Unlimited

FROM GOODREADS: A husband’s obsessive desire for a child leads to an unexpected manifestation of his yearning in a nightmarish short story about fatherhood dreams by New York Times bestselling author Joe Hill. Willy and Marianne’s farmhouse in Maine has acres of meadow and fresh air, and a lonesome bridle path in the forest along which Willy daydreams and ambles. When he’s loaned a decrepit old baby stroller to cart his groceries home, the rickety squeak of the wheels comforts him. So do the sweet coos of a baby Willy knows can’t be real. Can it? In this twisted thicket, wishes come true—with a price.

MY THOUGHTS: If you love Joe Hill, you don't want to miss his installment in the collection.  This one involves loss and grief and how sometimes the resentments we hold become monsters all on their own.  Plus, there is a creepy baby stroller and a rabid raccoon.  This would make an awesome movie!



TITLE: Ankle Snatcher
AUTHOR: Grady Hendrix
PUBLISHER: Amazon Original Stories
PUBLISHING DATE: September 26, 2023
PAGES: 29   
SOURCE: Kindle Unlimited

FROM GOODREADS: Obey the rules. It’s the only way to survive the night in a short story about what hides in the dark by the New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. Marcus grew up believing his father killed his mother—then blamed it on the boogeyman under the bed. Always leave the lights on, his father warned, or the boogeyman will get you. Marcus still heeds the superstition, especially when he invites his new girlfriend over. Is Marcus haunted by a creature or has he just inherited his father’s murderous delusions? The night will tell.

So far this collection is batting two for two.  If as a child you were ever afraid of what might be hiding under your bed, then this is the tale for you.  I loved seeing Hendrix's take on The Boogeyman and this one definitely gave me chills.


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


For some reason that I'm still not sure of, I have committed to doing three readathons during the month of October.  I will admit though that I worked hard to work in the books I actually wanted to read during the month anyway.  So, to keep myself accountable, I want to share a post with the readathons as well as what might/should get read.  Graphics are courtesy of the hosts and I will link to the readathon announcement when I can and also link the books to Goodreads so you can check them out.  I'm too lazy to add all the pics right now.

Hallowtween (MG Books) - Hosted by Storm Reads

Purple on the cover: The Vanquishers #2 - Secret of the Reaping - Kaylynn Bayron
Green on the cover: Slime Doesn't Pay! - R.L.Stein
Orange & Black on the Cover: Scritch Scratch - Lindsay Currie

Witches Need Love Too - Hosted by The Bookish Knitter

Witch or Hex in the Title AND Published in 2023: Hex Education - Maureen Kilmer
Purple on the Cover AND Not a Witch!: Not the Witch You Wed - April Asher

TBR and Beyond Trick-or-Treat Book Bash
Team Little Monsters!

Dark Fantasy/Retelling: ???
MG Horror or Mystery: Slime Doesn't Pay! - R.L.Stein
1st Book in a Series: Horror Hotel - Victoria Fulton
Book With a Setting That Scares You: Scritch Scratch - Lindsay Currie
Horror/Thriller/Mystery by BIPOC Author: The Vanquishers #2 - Kaylynn Bayron
Weapon on the Cover: ???
Characters That Use Magic: Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) - William Ritter
Red, Orange or Black on the Cover: Hex Education - Maureen Kilmer
Read While Listening to Spooky Music: There's No Way I'd Die First - Lisa Springer
Takes Place in Space or in Water: ???
Read a Book With Vampires, Witches or Werewolves: Not the Witch You Wed - April Asher

So, there you have it.  On this last one, you get points for your team and there are 4 extra activity prompts as well.  I don't know that I can read a book for each category but if you have suggestions for the ones I've left blank, please let me know in the comments.

Happy Spooky Reading!!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Farm News - September 24, 2023


Well fall is officially here, and I can't believe how fast the year is flying now.  I have always said once Halloween comes and goes, the rest of the year passes in a blink.  I'm going to start some Fall decorating this afternoon hopefully.  The weather has been cooler, and it drizzled some last night.  All three of our favorite college teams won yesterday and Mr. Barb's pro team plays tonight so we will watch it and I will get some good reading time in while doing so. 

A kid (and by kid, I mean he was 30 and teaching at the local community college) that goes to the same gym as Mr. Barb and who lives in our neighborhood was killed in tragic accident Friday night.  He was riding his motorcycle and was hit by an 18-year-old in a huge Ford F-150 type truck.  The truck went through an empty storefront causing the entire building to almost collapse and while the motorcycle landed in the front parking lot, the kid on it flew over the building and landed face down in an alley behind it.  I can't imagine what his family is going through and feel so badly for all who have been touched by this awful situation.  Definitely makes me appreciate each day a bit more.

On to cheerier thoughts.  I finished Ghost Tree yesterday evening. It's for an on-line book club with the discussion being next weekend.  I never read it when it was released although I always meant to, and I actually enjoyed it quite a bit.  I need to read about 120 more pages of It in order to be at the halfway point by the end of the month.  This is a buddy read with Stormi and the second time for me, although it's been over 30 years since I first read it.  I'm also about 100 pages in Schrader's Chord and enjoying it a lot as well.  

I had a few holds come in this week from my library and I need to work them ALL in somewhere because I'm excited about all of them.  Well, I take that back.  I'm actually a bit hesitant about Delicate Condition but we started watching the new season of American Horror Story, which is based on this book this year, so I feel the need to read it before too many episodes release.  So far, it's only one. This season stars Kim Kardashian and I will admit I'm hesitant about that too!  I also was able to grab Good Bad Girl and The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic which is one of my most anticipated books for the year. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend and thanks for visiting Booker T's Farm!

Friday, September 22, 2023

What Did I Just Read???


TITLE: Looking Glass Sound
AUTHOR: Catriona Ward
PUBLISHER: Tor Nightfire
PUBLISHING DATE: August 8, 2023
PAGES: 342   

FROM GOODREADS: In a lonely cottage overlooking the windswept Maine coast, Wilder Harlow begins the last book he will ever write. It is the story of his childhood summer companions and the killer that stalked the small New England town. Of the body they found, and the horror of that discovery echoing down the decades. And of Sky, Wilder’s one-time best friend, who stole his unfinished memoir and turned it into a lurid bestselling novel, Looking Glass Sound. 
But as Wilder writes, the lines between memory and fiction blur. He fears he’s losing his grip on reality when he finds notes hidden around the cottage written in Sky’s signature green ink. 
Catriona Ward delivers another mind-bending and cleverly crafted tale about one man’s struggle to come to terms with the terrors of his past… before it’s too late.

MY THOUGHTS: I'm going to be honest here, it took me awhile to even review this book.  I've actually had to sit on it for some time and my final rating has gone back and forth between two and three stars so many times I have whiplash. This is the third book I've read from this author.  The Last House on Needless Street absolutely didn't work for me and yes, I know I'm in the minority.  On the other hand, I loved Sundial. I can respect Ward's writing style and will probably continue to read her books, but I don't have a strong opinion either way.

I'm not going to talk much about the plot.  Part of me thinks it is best to go into this book blindly, but the other part of me is afraid I will only make things more confusing.  I will say the book takes the whole "book within a book" trope to new levels with peculiar characters that you are either going to love or hate. I never truly connected with them, and they are all haunted in their own ways. 

The ending of this book delivered a final shock which I think fans of the author have come to expect.  I finally decided to go with a 3/5 rating because the book has stayed with me over time, and I have come to appreciate it more as time passes.  However, it's not one I could easily recommend unless you love the author or are in the mood for one confusing fever dream. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Tor Nightfire for the e-galley.



Thursday, September 21, 2023

That Was A Change of Pace


TITLE: Chase Me (Broke and Beautiful #1)
AUTHOR: Tessa Bailey
PUBLISHING DATE: Originally Published March 17, 2015
PAGES: 304   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: College drop-out Roxy Cumberland moved to New York with dreams of becoming an actress, but her dwindling bank account is quickly putting the kibosh on that fantasy. To make some quick cash, she signs up to perform singing telegrams. Her first customer is a gorgeous, cocky Manhattan trust-funder if she ever laid eyes on one. And what could be more humiliating than singing an ode to his junk, courtesy of his recent one-night stand? Maybe the fact that she's dressed in a giant pink bunny costume... 
After a night out to celebrate winning his last case, lawyer Louis McNally II isn't prepared for the pounding in his head or the rabbit serenading him from the front door. But the sassy wit and sexy voice of the girl behind the mask intrigue him, and one look at her stunning face--followed by a mind-blowing kiss against his doorjamb--leaves Louis wanting more. 
Roxy doesn't need a spoiled rich guy who's had everything in life handed to him on a Tiffany platter. But there's more to Louis than his sexy surface and he's determined to make Roxy see it...even if it means chasing her all over NYC.

MY THOUGHTS: After reading quite a bit of horror the past few weeks, I found myself wanting something nice and quick.  This book just got a re-release complete with a new animated cover, which I won't lie, always gets my attention on romance books, so since I had recently picked it up from the library, I decided to dive in.

I've grown to really enjoy Tessa Bailey's books the past 2 years and luckily, she has enough of a catalog that I am nowhere near being finished with it.  Roxy is in NY pursuing an acting career.  She has just been kicked out of her apartment and needs money fast so she gets a job doing singing telegrams.  On her first gig, she meets Louis. Even though Roxy is in a bunny suit, the chemistry is undeniable and after she leaves with only a kiss, Louis hunts her down.  The remainder of the book allows us to see the whole cat-and-mouse game play out while learning exactly why Louis and Roxy are carrying so much baggage.

While the plot kept me interested, I will admit the side characters are what made the book for me. Roxy ends up being roommates with two women who are hilarious and it's really the first time Roxy has ever experienced true friendship.  Also, Louis's sisters are volatile and add just enough comedic relief. For example, when Louis is told his sister is cooking for everyone, he declares he will bring the fire extinguisher and when he arrives and asks her what is burning, she replies ketchup.  

If you want a fun read and you don't mind quite a bit of spice, then consider giving this author a try. I don't think I could read her novels in succession, but spread throughout other things, they are usually just what I need to rev up my reading.  There are two more books in this series with each one focusing on a different roommate so I'm excited to visit this world again.  Overall, not my favorite Tessa Bailey, but definitely worth my time.


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Feed Your TBR - Ghost Station


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. 

April 9, 2024

FROM GOODREADS: As an exploration crew begins to establish residency on an abandoned planet, they must unravel the mystery behind the previous colonizer’s hasty departure. When their pilot is discovered dead – in what appears to be a gruesome murder – it’s up to the corporate-sponsored psychologist Dr. Ophelia Bray to find the killer among them … before someone else is next.

WHY I CAN'T WAIT:  I'm not a huge sci-fi reader girlie but there was something about Dead Silence I loved when I read it a few years back.  I'm excited to see what the author does with another space horror.


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Please Vote Me Off This Island!


TITLE: Hemlock Island
AUTHOR: Kelley Armstrong
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
PUBLISHING DATE: September 12, 2023
PAGES: 304   

FROM GOODREADS: Laney Kilpatrick has been renting her vacation home to strangers. The invasion of privacy gives her panic attacks, but it’s the only way she can keep her beloved Hemlock Island, the only thing she owns after a pandemic-fueled divorce. But broken belongings and campfires that nearly burn down the house have escalated to bloody bones, hex circles, and now, terrified renters who’ve fled after finding blood and nail marks all over the guest room closet, as though someone tried to claw their way out…and failed. 
When Laney shows up to investigate with her teenaged niece in tow, she discovers that her ex, Kit, has also been informed and is there with Jayla, his sister and her former best friend. Then Sadie, another old high school friend, charters over with her brother, who’s now a cop. 
There are tensions and secrets, whispers in the woods, and before long, the discovery of a hand poking up from the earth. Then the body that goes with it… But by that time, someone has taken off with their one and only means off the island, and they’re trapped with someone—or something—that doesn’t want them leaving the island alive.

MY THOUGHTS: I have seen some mixed reviews about this book which made me a tad hesitant to pick it up, but I do love the author, so I took the plunge.  I can see why this wouldn't work for everyone, but for the most part, I enjoyed it, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves the author or who is looking for a spooky book to add their TBR this fall.

Laney and her husband Kit divorced after the pandemic basically tore their marriage apart.  However, Kit had bought Laney an island and built her a gorgeous house on it as a wedding gift and he insists she keep it as part of the settlement.  Laney, unable to afford the upkeep on her own, even though she is a published author and a teacher, decides to make it an air-bnb type rental, which leads to all kinds of headaches.  She has been finding evidence of some kind of rituals being performed and when the latest renters call saying they found blood and scratches on an inside closet, Laney and her niece, whom she has guardianship of, head off to check things out.  Kit and his sister Jayla, who used to be Laney's best friend also show up as do an ex-friend, Sadie and her brother, who had a falling out after something tragic happened in high school.

This first half of this book read like such a well-paced slasher novel.  But warning, it isn't a slasher novel at all.  It could have been though and I would have liked it just as much if not even more perhaps. People start ending up dead and mysteries start being revealed, and I did not see the turn this book took in the end.  I liked Laney well enough as a character and wanted the best for her and Kit.  A few of the other characters were despicable and I cared nothing for what happened to them except for entertainment value.  

I do think one of the big reveals was extremely obvious from the beginning, but it didn't really spoil my enjoyment of the book.  I have found Armstrong to have a vivid imagination and some of the scenes are not for anyone who easily gets grossed out.  Armstrong has written in so many different genres with both adult and YA titles and this is actually my 20th read of one of her books.  I guess I can confidently say I would probably read whatever she releases at this point.


Sunday, September 17, 2023

Farm News - September 17, 2023


I'm getting a late post up this weekend and honestly don't have a lot to report.  I'm suffering from the beginnings of a migraine as I write this and am hoping I caught it in time before it gets too bad.  It was a busy week at work (as busy as it can get when you are privileged enough to work from home) as my boss was at a major conference in Atlanta all week and half our unit was in the state capital at another conference for 3 days.  I have a retreat coming up early in October I am dreading and then Mr. Barb has a week-long conference the week after I return.  Apollo does not do well when both his people are not home at night.

I have been reading a lot and managed to finish two books this week.  Look for a review of Hemlock Island from Kelley Armstrong coming up sometime this week and Stormi and I are still plugging away on It.  I need to get to page 390 by the end of this coming week which should be easily done as I am on 320 right now.  It helps mixing other books in with it.  As far as currently reading, I also started Schader's Chord.

I also managed to receive a couple of arcs from Netgalley this week.  I had totally given up on getting an early copy of The Twelve Dogs of Christmas which releases on October 17th but I opened my email this week and there was the approval I was waiting for. And by the way, am I the only one bothered by the fact there are only 8 dogs on the cover?  I used to read a lot of MaryJanice Davidson books quite some time ago and loved her Betsy the Vampire Queen series.  I am sure Road Queens will offer a fun read with a fair share of humor.  It publishes on November 28th.  And finally, I received The Locked Door by Freida McFadden.  I read The Housemaid earlier this year and enjoyed the twists and turns and am excited to see what this one holds.

So I hope you all have had a wonderful week.  It's nice and rainy here today so I'm off to curl up with a blanket, a dog and a doorstep - oops, I mean my copy of It.

Friday, September 15, 2023

They Were Killed How????


TITLE: Murder on a School Night
AUTHOR: Kate Weston
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegan Books
PAGES: 384   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: A hilarious murder mystery–rom-com from author and comedian Kate Weston investigates the sinister side of social media when bullying turns bloody—and a string of classmate deaths by menstrual cup and sanitary pad sets amateur sleuth Kerry hot on the trail of a menstrual murderer. Perfect for fans of Truly Devious and Fleabag. 
There’s never a good time to find a dead body, sure. But what about finding a dead body while you’re trying to kiss your crush? Kerry had different plans for her first high school party—like not going. All she wanted to do was stay home in the safety of retro rom-coms and her strict retainer schedule. Instead, her BFF, fiercely outgoing mystery-fanatic Annie, has roped her into going to the party to investigate who’s cyberbullying Heather, the most popular girl in school.
Finding herself getting close with her dreamy crush is odd enough, but when the two of them discover Heather’s second in command, Selena, suffocated with a menstrual cup, things get really weird. And when a second student turns up dead, this time with a sanitary pad across the eyes, Annie and Kerry—no matter how much she resists—are officially on the case to stop the menstrual murderer . . . period.

MY THOUGHTS: I'm pretty sure I didn't read the synopsis when I put this book on hold through Libby some time ago.  When it finally came in, I started it on a whim - can we say mood reader?  Needless to say, when the first victim showed up with a period cup shoved down there throat, I myself about choked.

Kerry and Annie are high school best friend and Annie wants nothing more than to be part of the popular crowd.  When they manage to work up an invite to a school party, they find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery.  Because Heather, the Queen Bee of the school, is one of the main suspects, she convinces Annie, a true-crime obsessed fan, to investigate.  Additional people start dying and Annie finds herself in bind after bind, taking her friend Kerry along for the ride.  All Kerry wants to do is enjoy her first boyfriend experience but is he hiding some terrible secret?

I was not prepared for all the period talk in this book.  Heather's parents own a feminine hygiene factory, so that's how it all fits in.  I will also say I didn't quite expect to laugh and giggle as much as I did while reading this.  Annie and Kerry have a great bond which is sometimes tested but made me reminisce about my high school ride-or-die.  If you liked the movies Heathers and Jawbreaker, this book is definitely for you because I got serious vibes of both while reading it.  And oh, the mystery was pretty decent as well.


Thursday, September 14, 2023

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Jackaby (Jackaby #1)

So, Stormi actually convinced me to start another series with her this month!  Actually, it wasn't too hard and now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I convinced her.  Either way, I really enjoyed the first book and the series isn't an extremely long one so I'm glad we did.  So read on for my thoughts and then hop over to Stormi's to see what she thought as well.

TITLE: Jackaby (Jackaby #1)
AUTHOR: William Ritter
PUBLISHER: Algonquin Young Readers
PUBLISHING DATE: September 16, 2014
PAGES: 321   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--seem adamant to deny.

MY THOUGHTS: I will first say that I'm not exactly sure why this book is classified YA.  On the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter to me, but I will admit I find it a bit odd. I think it may have actually missed out on a bunch of readers through the classification and will say if that has held you back on starting this series, you might rethink your decision.

Abigail Rook arrives in New England with no real prospects.  All she knows is that she is running from her parents with money that had provided for her education in search of adventure.  She is looking for a job when she sees a posting for an assistance.  She immediately takes off and through some unconventional job interview excursions, she ends up getting the job. While Abigail loves the idea of being a "detective," she has no idea she is about to encounter a world full of supernatural beings and magical elements.

This book sort of reminds me of the Veronica Speedwell series, except perhaps a little younger with more paranormal elements.  Jackaby is odd, quirky and so much fun and the interaction between him and Abigail is quite humorous and witty.  There are some interesting side characters, like Officer Charlie Cain who happens to catch Abigail's eye, who me to play an important part in the conclusion and hopefully the series going forward.  There is also a beautiful pond in the attic and an ex-apprentice of Jackaby who now lives there as a duck.  If that isn't enough to make you curious, I don't know what is!

This would be a perfect addition to someone's spooky TBR this season of they are looking for mystery and a bit of supernatural but they want to stay away from the horror genre.



Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Feed Your TBR - The Gathering


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings to spotlight highly anticipated books.  It is based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme which used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. 

APRIL 9, 2024

FROM GOODREADS: Deadhart, Alaska. 873. Living.

In a small Alaskan town, a boy is found with his throat ripped out and all the blood drained from his body. The inhabitants of Deadhart haven’t seen a killing like this in twenty-five years. But they know who’s a member of the Colony, an ostracized community of vampyrs living in an old mine settlement deep in the woods.

Detective Barbara Atkins, a specialist in vampyr killings, is called in to officially determine if this is a Colony killing – and authorize a cull. Old suspicions die hard in a down like Deadhart, but Barbara isn’t so sure. Determined to find the truth, she enlists the help of a former Deadhart sheriff, Jenson Tucker, whose investigation into the previous murder almost cost him his life. Since then, Tucker has become a recluse. But he knows the Colony better than anyone.

As the pair delve into the town's history, they uncover secrets darker than they could have imagined. And then another body is found. While the snow thickens and the nights grow longer, a killer stalks Deadhart, and two disparate communities circle one another for blood. Time is running out for Atkins and Tucker to find the Are they hunting a bloodthirsty monster . . . or a twisted psychopath? And which is more dangerous?

WHY I CAN'T WAIT: I wasn't a big fan of The Chalk Man but I read The Drift when it came out and really enjoyed it so I'm more than willing to pick up another Tudor book.  I love the snowy setting and did I see vampyrs?  Yes please!


Tuesday, September 12, 2023

She Should Have Asked for a Better Job Description


TITLE: Witches Get Stuff Done (Starfall Point #1)
AUTHOR: Molly Harper
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Casablanca
PUBLISHING DATE: September 5, 2023
PAGES: 304   
SOURCE: Hoopla

FROM GOODREADS: Juggling newfound witchy powers, a house full of ghosts, and verbal battles with the handsome local librarian is almost too much for a new witch to manage. A new witch with a coven, however, can get so much more done... 
From the moment Riley Everett set foot in Starfall Point, magic bubbled inside of her. But with only her late aunt's journals and a cantankerous live-in ghost butler to instruct her on all things witchy—including her newly inherited Victorian haunted house—Riley seeks out a coven for sisterhood and support. The last person she expects to be drawn to is the town's frustrating, yet ridiculously attractive head librarian. 
Edison Held knows almost everything there is to know about Starfall Point, but Shaddow House was always off-limits, thanks to its elusive owner. If he can convince the new owner, Riley, to let him take a peek inside, there's so much he could learn. But as he gets closer to Riley, he's fascinated by her dazzling wit and fiery spirit. Edison will do whatever he can to help Riley keep her family legacy alive, especially if it means spending more time with the captivating new witch in town.

MY THOUGHTS: I have been spending a lot of time reading horror the past month or so and wanted something lighter to mix things up a bit.  When I saw Witches Get Stuff Done on Hoopla, I thought it might be a good palate cleanser and still stay in the spooky vibe and I can say I am glad I picked it up.  Some of my best reads this year have come from whims so maybe I should do it more often.

Riley Everette's mother has recently died when she learns her mother had been keeping a secret.  Riley has an aunt living on a Michigan island who Riley never knew existed.  The Aunt reaches out to Riley and since she is in between jobs, again, she decides to visit.  However, once she lands on the island, she learns her aunt has passed away.  Riley is suddenly thrown into a mysterious manor on the hill that the whole island is curious about and meets the butler, Plover, who just happens to be dead.  Riley learns it is up to her to guard all the spirits attached to the objects that now call Shaddow House their home and even though Riley has had MANY jobs in her life, this is one she is unprepared for.

This book was so much fun.  It has just the right amount of paranormal elements, romance and humor.  Riley manages to make some friends one she arrives who end up being part of her mystical coven and they were the perfect additions to Riley's zaniness.  I particularly loved Caroline, the town bartender, and was happy to see the next installment focuses on her. 

I only had a few issues with the book.  There were a few typos and unfortunately, I tend to focus on those things so they briefly pulled me out of the moment when I would run across them.  Also, the pacing was bit off.  Turns out quite a few months pass as the story unfolds and honestly, I wasn't picking up on it and didn't find out until basically it was laid out for me toward the end.  

All in all, this is a fun read, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal romance which leans heavily into rom-com territory.  This would also be a great read for someone who wants to read certain themes for spooky season but wants to stay away from horror and gore.


Sunday, September 10, 2023

Farm News - September 9, 2023


Hope everyone has had a great week.  Things here are fine.  We had a couple of really hot days again, but this weekend should lead way to a cool down and I'm all for it.  Apollo is still having a few issues with his "arm."  Nothing major at this point, just keeping an eye on it.  He is completely oblivious to his hover-mother's worrying and doesn't understand why daily I tell him I am wrapping him in bubble wrap.

We've watched quite a few movies lately in between the football games.  Meg 2: The Trench was decent.  I love shark films, but I have to admit the first one was better.  And spoiler alert - the dog lives. The Boogeyman, a recent King release, was much, much better than I originally anticipated and I would recommend it to any King or horror fan in general.  And finally, most recently we watched The Last Voyage of the Demeter. This movie gets all the stars despite... spoiler, the dog dies in the one.  It was a wonderful scary vampire tale set at sea and this vamp is nasty - no sparkles at all!

I feel like I'm in the middle of reading too many books. I'm not a big multi-reader but do dabble from time to time.  Stormi and I are doing a 2-month long buddy read of It, so I need to average about 130 pages a week to get that finished on time.  So far, I'm on schedule.  Jackaby is another buddy read and I'm enjoying it a lot and it is sending out lots of Fall vibes.  And I had to work a romance in for a break with all the horror and thriller books I've been reading so I started Chase Me.  Tessa Bailey is a newfound fave and I find her books to be quick, fun reads.

Friday was double points for Kindle Rewards and since it coincided with payday, I grabbed a few books I had my eyes on.  It Found Us is for a Middle Grade readathon in October, There's No Way I'd Die First is for a horror book club pick on a Facebook group in October, and The Beast Keepers is just because I was curious.  

Well, that's about all on this end.  Pro football starts this week so we will see how the Steelers and the Bengals fare.  Last week all three of our favorite college teams won - Georgia, Marshall and Florida State.  Hope this week is just as good.  

So are you reading anything good?  Any movies I need to add to the watch list?